A training workshop has been organised for journalists in Tamale by Ghana Somubi Dwumadie to increase their understanding of disability and mental health inclusion in COVID-19 response.

The purpose of the training is to strengthen their capacity to consider disability and mental health when reporting on COVID-19 and also enable them to become agents of change to support the reduction of stigma around disability and mental health in Ghana.

Some of the training areas included an introduction into disability and mental health matters, the appropriate use of language on disability and mental health, how to improve COVID-19 media reportage on disability and mental health, how to develop ideas for compelling reporting on disability and mental health as well as things to consider when finding the stories and the sources on disability and mental health.

Fred Nantogmah, the Communications Officer for BasicNeeds-Ghana, called on media practitioners to be the voice for people with disability during the COVID-19 pandemic adding that they are more greatly disadvantaged.

“ During emergencies like this, the tendency to get the needs of people with disability when we are making plans is very high so we can factor their needs as media practitioners in our works and ensure that we do not forget them but rather keep an eye for them.”

He said the workshop will sensitize journalists on the appropriate use of language which includes rather than stigmatizes which is appropriate rather than inappropriate so that people with mental health issues or people with disability will be able to live and attain their dignity within the society.

Ghana Somubi Dwumadie (Ghana Participation Programme) is a four-year disability programme in Ghana, with a specific focus on mental health and undertaking a range of activities to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with disabilities, including mental health disabilities.

The programme is funded with UK Aid from the UK government. The programme is run by an Options’ led consortium, which also consists of BasicNeeds-Ghana, Kings College London, Sightsavers International and Tropical Health, and focuses on four key areas Promoting stronger policies and systems that respect the rights of people with disabilities, including people with mental health disabilities, Scaling up high quality and accessible mental health services, reducing stigma and discrimination against people with disabilities, including mental health disabilities and Generating evidence to inform policy and practice on the effectiveness of disability and mental health programmes and interventions.


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